UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Rose leads $2 million Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray

Rose leads $2 million Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray
FLW Tour pro Mark Rose dominated the first day of 2008 Forrest Wood Cup competition after recording a monster catch weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., crossed the stage with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces to lead day one of the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol on Lake Murray. Rose now holds a 2-pound, 13-ounce lead in the tournament featuring 77 pros and 77 co-anglers from across the United States, Japan and Korea.

"I found the area I fished during the last hour of practice," said Rose, who has won more than $703,000 in FLW Outdoors competition. "I said, `Man, this looks good.' I saw fish blowing up and I just wanted to go in there and catch a 4-pounder. And that's where I got my three good ones."

Rose said he caught five keepers during the day, including the "good ones" he estimated as 5-, 6- and 7-pounders.

"I had a terrible practice," Rose said. "In a big tournament like this you have to use your instincts and skills and make decisions on the fly sometimes."

Heavy rains Wednesday changed many anglers' tactics for the first day of competition, and Rose chose to fish shallow, where he thought fish might migrate to the muddier water. Rose said he's focusing on a large area instead of choosing to run all over the lake.

"Three hours into the day, I had my three biggest fish," Rose said. "So that kept me at that spot. But that's the only big bites I had all day.

"Tomorrow I'll probably stop when I get seven or eight pounds," Rose added. "But you don't realize how hard it is to catch seven or eight pounds out there right now. I've got to go out there and really put my head to the grindstone to do that."

Team Berkley pro Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., trails Rose in the No. 2 spot with five bass weighing 17-05.

"My day went better than expected," said Vida, who has compiled seven wins and 26 top-10 finishes while accumulating more than $521,000 in FLW Outdoors competition. "It was a good day, but then again, I knew I had the potential for this."

Vida said he caught seven keepers, all of which he caught before 1:30 p.m. He said he caught fish both shallow and deep, and they came about 20 minutes apart. Vida said the fish are cruising, and if the fish see him, they will not bite.

"The area that I'm fishing has a lot of fish, and I'm catching them," Vida said. "It's my prime area, and I'm probably not even going to go there tomorrow. I also have it all to myself.

"It's like spring fishing in August," Vida added.

Rounding out the top five pros are Brian Travis of Conover, N.C. (five bass, 13-15); Bud Pruitt of Houston, Texas (five bass, 13-13) and Team PTSI pro Ron Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark. (five bass, 13-09).

Overall there were 300 bass weighing 574 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 75 pros Thursday. The catch included 43 five-bass limits.

The field of 77 professional anglers consists of qualifiers from the 2008 Walmart FLW Tour, the 2007 Walmart FLW Series, the 2008 Walmart BFL All-American, 2008 TBF National Championship and 2007 Stren Series Championship.

Pros in the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup are competing for a top cash prize of $1 million - the sport's biggest award.

Pat Wilson of Penngrove, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 8-14 followed by Chris Hults of Vancleave, Miss., in second place with five bass weighing 8-09.

"I was fishing with David Fritts, and he's around fish," said Wilson, who has five wins and 14 top-10 finishes as a co-angler in FLW Outdoors events. "I caught my first keeper at about 8:30. I caught them steady until about 4:30, when I put another three keepers in the boat and culled out the last two 12-inchers."

Wilson said he caught eight keepers and another 10 short fish throughout the course of the day. Wilson said his fish came on soft plastics fished slowly behind Fritts' crankbait.

"I prefished with Jimmy Reese and got on a solid bite and knew they were going to eat what I'm throwing," Wilson said. "I think the fish are real bait-specific. I felt coming into this tournament that if I was around fish I was going to have a good shot. And that's the key - getting a draw who is around fish.

"My goal is to catch three keepers a day," Wilson said. "Anything after that is gravy. It's a brutal bite out there."

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas (five bass, 8-01); Masahiro Yanase of Nagoya, Japan (five bass, 7-14) and Team PTSI co-angler Bill Gift of Alix, Ark. (four bass, 7-2).

Overall there were 149 bass weighing 225 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 62 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included eight five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $50,000 this week.

The full field competes in the two-day opening round for 10 slots in Saturday's competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and co-angler competition concludes following Saturday's weigh-in. The top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.

Forrest Wood Cup contenders will launch at 7 a.m. each day from the Lake Murray Marina and Yacht Club located at 1600 Marina Road in Irmo, S.C. Daily weigh-ins will be held at The Colonial Center located at 801 Lincoln St. in Columbia each afternoon at 5 p.m. The Forrest Wood Cup Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show - featuring outdoor product exhibits, fishing seminars by Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston and other bass-fishing legends, and free daily giveaways - runs 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center located at 1101 Lincoln St. in Columbia.

The first 500 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone Friday will receive a free tackle kit. The first 750 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone Saturday will receive free Solar Bat sunglasses. On Sunday, the first 1,500 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone will receive a free rod and reel combo. One lucky person attending the final weigh-in Sunday will even win a new Ranger Z20 powered by Yamaha. Participants must be present to win.

Chris Rose, John Salley and Charissa Thompson will join the world's top professional bass anglers to tape FSN's hit "Best Damn Sports Show Period" Saturday at noon in The Colonial Center. Celebrity guests scheduled to make an appearance are Steve Spurrier, the head football coach of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, William "The Fridge" Perry of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears and Mike Schmidt, the Hall of Fame third baseman who played his entire 18-year career for the Philadelphia Phillies. Taping for the nationwide cable show will precede the tournament's day-three weigh-in and crowning of the co-angler champion. Spectators could possibly make an appearance on the show as well, so you won't want to miss this opportunity. Admission to the Forrest Wood Cup and "Best Damn Sports Show Period" taping is free.

Also, multi-platinum recording artist Tracy Byrd will perform a free concert hosted by WCOS-97.5 FM on the main stage at The Colonial Center on Sunday at 4 p.m., just before the start of the final weigh-in.

Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.

Tags: press-release  2008-08-14-forrest-wood-cup 

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